There’s a new Mayor in town in Killybegs, and it’s well-known community worker Ann Marie Bourke.
Ann Marie was successfully elected to the honorary role at last weekend’s Killybegs Summer Festival. For the past six weeks, she had been campaigning for outgoing mayor Conal Breslin’s title through local fundraising.
The hard work paid off, and now Ann Marie will proudly wear the chain for the next two years.
“It is a great honour,” Ms Burke told Donegal Daily.
“My role will depend on what the public wants of me. Once you become Mayor you make yourself available to anybody who wants you to attend a function. I’m just waiting on the invitations now!”
Ann Marie is already rooted in the heart of the community through her work as a Supervisor with the Community Employment scheme.
She is the secretary of Killybegs Credit Union, on the fundraising committee of Foresters Hall and on the Board of Management of the Killybegs Common National School.
She based her election campaign on raising funds for the refurbishment of the Foresters Hall, a historic building with which she has close connections.
“I’ve associated with Foresters Hall all my life. My father was a manager and he used to run the dances. That’s why it’s close to our hearts,” Ann Marie said.
The Killybegs branch of the Irish National Foresters are now enjoying over 100 years in existence. From 1906 down through the decades, it has been the main centre for social activities and renowned far and wide for attracting the top showbands during the era of the Dance Halls. Many local clubs use the facilities nowadays and events are still held regularly there.
Ann Marie successfully raised funds for the hall and for the Killybegs Summer Festival over the past two months. Her running mate Jordan Boyle raised money for the St. Catherine’s Band in a bid to get them to New York City next March.
“Jordan is a lovely young man. It’s not easy putting yourself forward for something like this,” Ann Marie said.
Ann Marie is looking forward to the next two years as Mayor of Killybegs, but the demands of the role won’t phase her.
“Sure I’m always busy anyway,” she said.